Hey Laddy, Can You Pass Me That Water Bottle When You're Done...Errr, Nevermind

"Outside of a fever for a day-and-a-half, I felt better on the game day (Oct. 22 against Columbus) so I tried to skate in the morning and I felt good enough to play so I played."

Let this be a lesson to the rest of you lazy bones: H1N1 is no excuse for missing work.  So drag yourself out of bed, try to keep some liquids down if you can, and get down to whatever it is you do for a living (ending your team's scoreless streak at 7 periods, for example). And if you get a chance, swing by the big lineup outside the health centre on the way to the office, and let 'em know that #5 says what they really need is a vaccine for people overreacting.


From the plains of Cimmeria, he rides.

Stronger than ten men! Able to cleave a great serpent in two with a single stroke of his axe! He fears no man, yet all should fear him! The Unconquerable! The Brave! The Mighty Cimmerian!

Penner the Barbarian!

Here's hoping the big man puts up another multi-pointer tonight against the Flamers. If he can't get it done, we should at least have the pleasure of watching a fourth line made up of SMac, Strud, and Storts bash in some skulls.




Experience is a funny thing. It can teach us a lot of important lessons. Like how you should probably skip the fish fillet with cream sauce at that all-you-can-eat buffet. Or how sometimes, instead of asking someone why they think that a $12/hour job at a third-rate "bar" and a right cheek full of needle marks gives them any right to tell you how to dress, it's better to just take off the damned baseball cap. Sometimes.

The thing about experience, though, is that you can't fake it. You can usually get by without it for a little while, and if you're lucky and you find yourself in the right situation (like sitting in a stool next to a guy with a well-worn 49ers cap), you can sometimes get it without it costing you too much. But you can't fake it.

Take Mr. Smid. This year, everyone's favorite asset finds himself in the somewhat unusual position of being a 23 year old NHL defenceman with over 200 games of experience under his belt. We were there, so we all saw that getting to this point for Laddy wasn't exactly cost-free for the Oilers. But now, unless we're seeing a "MA Bergeron Actually Looks Good Right Now, Do You Think It Has Anything To Do With Being Paired With Pronger" style mirage, it's looking like number 5 may have turned that development corner. And it's a good thing, too, because right now the Oilers D is finding it's self just a little short on experience. Here are the career NHL games played for last night's D:

Visnovski - 557
Strudwick - 556
Smid - 210
Gilbert - 184
Grebeshkov - 184
Chorney - 6

That's an average of 283 games per player. Meanwhile, we've got Staios (842 GP) out with a concussion, and Souray (616 GP) out with a concussion, a broken heart, and a bad case of helmet-crotch. Between the two of them they have 46 percent of all the NHL experience in the Oilers top 8.

So far, Chorney has looked good (he was even with 14:34 TOI last night) and the Oilers keep winning despite being out-chanced, but you have to figure that it can't last forever. If Edmonton doesn't get some of that experience back on the blue, Chorney's on-the-job training will inevitably hit a rough patch, and Grebeshkov's turnovers will keep piling up. And just like with the fish fillet, we'll be learning our lessons the hard way.


Gameday: Canucks v Oilers (Round One... Fight!)

The 'Nucks are in town and word around the Northwest Division is that it is on. They're missing Sami Salo, we're missing Shelly. They're missing Daniel Sedin, we're missing Ales Hemsky1. So both teams are out their top D-man and their top goal scorer--

Wait. What? Hemmer isn't our top scorer? Well then who is?

Dustin. Penner.

Who woulda thunk it? I'll tell ya who thunk it. Nobody thunk it! Not one person thunk that DP would be our top scorer this year, least of all any schmuck at this blog.

But lo and behold, there he is: tied for 5th in the league in goals (neck-and-neck with certain people).

Speaking of surprising point-getters, one Mr. Comrie is looking like a terrific acquisition. Of more concern is that he finally trotted out his arm candy at RX1.

While The Duff seems genuinely pleased for her beau, one cannot help but notice that glint of hardened steel in her tastefully shadowed eyes. What the picture doesn't show is that gaze is leveled at Khabibulin's wife. I'd keep my head up if I were you, devochka, you are on thin ice around these parts.

On the topic of soft er... hands, Comrie's former teammate Georges Laraque is in a bit of trouble himself since the internet was set aflame by this little video:

Oh, Georges. I'm sure the big man had some inkling of what the makers of Octane 7.0 were going to do with the footage of him making an ass of himself amidst scantily-clad Sexoteque employees, but I doubt the poor guy knew he was going to get edited into a Satisfaction/Call On Me ripoff. He released a statement saying as much and, nearly a week later, it seems the world's most terrifying vegan is going to get off with a bit of "Aw shucks" and a tsk-tsk from NHLHQ (as he should, the money went to charity for goodness sake).

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we have to push the curves of the Octane Girls out of our minds and focus on the hard edge necessary to steal our second divisional win from the claws of Lulu & Company. Here's hoping the injury bug is biting them harder than us.

1Apparently Staios is out with the same flu bug. Wuh-oh.


Size matters.

6' 0.66999996" 1>6' 0.33" 2

1Average height of Edmonton forwards.
2Average height of Montreal forwards.